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Sergeant Rex: The Unbreakable Bond Between a Marine and His Military Working Dog Hardcover – December 13, 2011


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Atria Books; 1St Edition edition (December 13, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1451635966
  • ISBN-13: 978-1451635966
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (185 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #225,251 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"The best kind of nonfiction -- an impossible-to-put-down true life story."
--San Francisco Chronicle


“Briskly written. . . a moving portrait of a relationship between battle buddies that transcends gender and species.”
-- Washington Post

“This is a truly heartwarming and moving story.” —Hollywood Reporter

“Packed with colorful characters and dramatic incidents, Sergeant Rex is a moving story of true grit cast seamlessly amidst tough realism, rich, insightful detail and mutual respect.” —Seattle Kennel Club


“A first-rate buddy story from the front lines of the Iraq war.”
--Shelf Awareness

About the Author

Mike Dowling enlisted with the U.S. Marine Corps in 2001. He was awarded the Navy & Marine Corps Achievement Medal for his Iraq operations with his dog, Rex. He is currently serving with a Marine Corps rehabilitation unit in Los Angeles.
Damien Lewis has reported from war and conflict zones and aid and conservation projects for twenty years for the BBC, CNN, and many other news organizations. He is the author of a number of books on elite military operations and coauthor of several acclaimed memoirs.

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Customer Reviews

I read this book in 1 day and could not put it down!
Teresa B.
Mike talks about Rex like any other Marine, and has you read the book you feel that way too, stopping at times to think, whoa, this is a dog he is talkin about.
Bren
Mike Dowling's book about Sergeant Rex is a realistic account of a Marine Corps.
angtigermom

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

42 of 42 people found the following review helpful By JJ Schwartz on January 13, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I've read my share of dog as man's best friend books. Especially the books that show the powerful bonding between handlers and their military working dogs (MWD). I've watched videos of interviews with dog handlers that had to leave their dogs behind when they returned home, especially after Vietnam. Their stories of sacrifice by both dog and handler, shared affection and feelings of betrayal by the handler when he had to leave his dog behind are heart rending. This book is one of the best. In part because it has a happy ending for Rex in spite of the horrific experiences that they had sniffing out IEDs and waiting for a sniper to take either or both of them 'out.' What was surprising to me though was though I thought that I knew a fair amount about dogs I still learned more. Great book.
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26 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Bren on December 19, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I picked up Sargeant Rex expecting it to me a story about one man and his dog. About friendship and loyalty and the occasional heart wrenchin moment. Well a couple of chapters in I was very surprised, yes it a story about a man, A marine and his dog, but its story about war and combat and how 2 soldiers worked side by side to protect a nation left in rubble after war. Mike talks about Rex like any other Marine, and has you read the book you feel that way too, stopping at times to think, whoa, this is a dog he is talkin about. I have a new found respect for the working dog now. Dont pick up this book expecting it to me an war story, its not! its a friendship story set during war. What Mike goes through to protect his dog is nothing short of heroic and lets not forget about Rex here and what he goes through to protect the marines of company 2/2 is more than heroic its inspirational. Great book, great read, great story..lets hope it makes a good movie.
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30 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Irishboy on December 13, 2011
Format: Hardcover
The bond between a soldier and his dog is told in this amazing story. From the training as a puppy to the combat zone. You will feel every emotion possible as you pass each chapter and wait in eager anticipation for the next chapter. My props go out to Mike Dowling and not just his amazing cander and his relationship with his working dog Rex, but also for serving our country and the insight he provides with his comrades and the experiences they go through on a daily basis as they fight for our freedom.

This is a MUST read for people young and old, everyone whether you like to read or not will love this story. Thanks again Mike and Rex.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By US Military K-9 Fund on January 6, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Recently, we adopted a retired military working dog named MWD Fama H176. She is nine years old this month. She served two tours in Iraq. This wonderful book gives us an idea of what she must have gone through. Thankfully, she seems to have adjusted to civilian life without PTSD! Thank you, Mike Dowling, for giving us your story.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By K9 Geren on January 5, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I went to K9 School with Dowling and got to see first hand the potential that he had right from the start. It has been an honor to know him and continue our reminising of the days that have passed. Thank you for spreading the word to let those in on the bond we handlers have with our dogs. K9 for Life!
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By L. Bembenek on January 27, 2012
Format: Hardcover
The book was entertaining, informative and well-written, but even more, it
appealed to me emotionally since I love dogs. Dowling and his military working
dog were at the heart of war zones, detecting explosives and weapons
to help keep our troops (and also civilians) safe from the insurgents.
It made for many interesting stories, which kept my interest throughout.
I learned a lot about how the canines are trained and what they are
capable of, something many of us are interested in since military dogs
have been in the news with the capture of Osama Bin Laden last year.
It was also nice getting to know Dowling: his thoughts, background and
feelings as he faced these dangers in the book.

My only disappointment was that after all of that bonding, many instances
of cheating death, hours of training and so forth, he ended the book by
simply saying he had decided against reinlisting and that Rex had gone
on to other deployments with other handlers. I would have liked to have
known how he felt about leaving his dog in the hands of others, and
whether or not Rex was available for adoption by any of the handlers he
so loved and respected after he retired. I guess I am saying the story
ended a bit abruptly. Still, I admittedly loved it.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Carrie Grace on January 7, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Sergeant Rex is an absolute must read. Yes, it's an incredible story. Yes, our heroes are immediately loved and rooted for throughout. Yes, it's relevant to our present state of affairs as a country, a culture and a new generation fighting a new war. But it's also suitable reading for just about everyone I know and here's why:

Dowling takes on the very simple and lovely premise of a man and his dog and when contrasted with the ugly modern concept of war, I came away with a convoluted mixture of feelings where I didn't quite know what to feel for a moment. Which is what any good book should do.

Dowling's voice isn't stuffy or overly affected. He gives it to us straight and heartfelt. We see his vulnerability, his toughness, and his emotional conflict in a down to earth voice- one that I think a lot of us young people need to hear it through. We like this guy because we can relate to him. I never got the feeling he was trying too hard. It just felt like he was talking.

Even within the first few chapters, I knew I was in for a ride. We all know they live, right? So, you'd think the combat stuff wouldn't send your heart pumping through the roof, but it does just that. Somehow, Dowling really takes us to the heart of the battles and he makes us feel it on a personal level like he's our brother and Rex is our dog.

We come away with so much- it's the story of comradery, man's best friend kickin' butt, survival, incredible loss, war- and Dowling even manages a little flirtation in there- all while weaving an undercurrent personal story of his own journey through the Marine Corps, his growth as a soldier and accomplished man... and in our eyes as a lovable hero.

Get the book. You'll love it.
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